There are Plenty of Fish in the Sea: Studying how Guppy Color Impacts Sexual Selection in Male

Tara Bartley, Andre Abit, Evan Beihl, Natalie Natalie Anderson, Jonathan Albers


With a growing population, overfishing has quickly become a huge problem. As a result, there is a greater amount of pressure being placed on aquaculture. In order to improve aquaculture, we need to understand the sexual selection habits fish express when mating. The Poecilia reticulata, more commonly known as the guppy, is a commonly used subject to explore the subject of sexual selection. After reading other studies on the sexual behavior of guppies, we hypothesized that male guppies would be more attracted to possible mates that have a color with a higher wavelength, such as red or orange. We completed a study by cross examining data collected by other researchers using five different 3D fish models. Our results showed that on average, the male guppy spent the most time on the experimental side of the tank where a 3D model with a translucent green color was present, closely followed by the time when a true red model was present and then the control model. The amount of time spent on the experimental side of the tank was the lowest for the trials with the brighter neon fish models, so our hypothesis was not supported. However, the data we collected does not give significant enough evidence to draw any true conclusions about which colored fish the male guppies are more or less attracted to.

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